Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Review - Easter Bonnet Murder

Easter Bonnet Murder
Author:  Leslie Meier 
Series:  Lucy Stone Mystery #28
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Format:  Audiobook ARC
Narrator:  Karen White
No. of pages:  241
Published:  January 25, 2022
My Rating:   Stars


Part-time reporter Lucy Stone isn’t about to put all her eggs in one basket during a frantic Easter in Tinker’s Cove—especially when it comes to cracking a deadly mystery . . .

Known for its cheerful staff and elaborate annual Easter Bonnet Contest, the Heritage House senior center regularly attracts new residents and positive press. But once the town’s retired librarian, Miss Julia Tilley, checks in to recover from an illness, Lucy sees a side of the facility that isn’t quite so perfect and pristine. And the place may soon be making headlines for different reasons following an unexplained disappearance . . .

Lucy can’t fathom how Agnes Neal could go missing from assisted living over a silly Easter bonnet contest, or why few seem concerned as signs point to foul play. A retired journalist with an independent mind, Agnes had an eye for details and little interest in conforming to catty cliques or rules set by her caretakers—traits that threatened some and angered others . . .

While police stall the investigation without answers, Lucy realizes backstabbing has no age limit when alarming parallels bloom between her daughter’s college frenemies and social circles at Heritage House. Gathering clues as flimsy as a half-eaten milk chocolate bunny, Lucy must discover what happened to Agnes—before her own story becomes another springtime tragedy left unsolved.

Hard to believe that we are 28 books into this cozy mystery series. I loved this book. I found Lucy to be right on the spot when it came to doing what she does best - solving murders, all while being a capable wife and mother as well as fulfilling her job as a part-time reporter.

In this addition to a series that I have been enjoying over the past few years, Lucy engages herself in her endeavors to locate a missing woman. While busy looking for answers, Lucy finds herself distracted when Mrs. Tilley falls ill and is hospitalized. Ms. Tilley is well-advanced in years, and her current health battle is definitely concerning. As Mrs. Tilley is recovering in a rehab home, a dead body is discovered.

When one of the other residents named Agnes turns up missing, those in authority are not very concerned. The rehab has a lot of freedom for its residents and it is thought that the missing elderly woman has gone to visit someone perhaps. However, Lucy is asked to locate her, and before long, Agnes is discovered to have been killed.

This story was simply a lot of fun. Lucy is at her best in this book. We do have appearances of her husband Bill and her youngest daughter Zoe, so the continuity is perfect. However, this book could be read as a standalone novel.

Having listened to this audibook narrated by Karen White made a good story even better. I am looking forward to the next book in this delightful series.

Many thanks to Kensington Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


I started writing in the late ‘80s when I was attending graduate classes at Bridgewater State College. I wanted to become certified to teach high school English and one of the required courses was Writing and the Teaching of Writing. My professor suggested that one of the papers I wrote for that course was good enough to be published and I sent it off to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. I got $100 for the story and I’ve been writing ever since. The teaching, however, didn’t work out.

My books draw heavily on my experience as a mother of three and my work as a reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape  . My heroine, Lucy Stone, is a reporter in the fictional town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she lives in an old farmhouse (quite similar to mine on Cape Cod!) with her restoration carpenter husband Bill and four children. As the series has progressed the kids have grown older, roughly paralleling my own family. We seem to have reached a point beyond which Lucy cannot age–my editor seems to want her to remain forty-something forever, though I have to admit I personally am dying to write “Menopause is Murder!”

I usually write one Lucy Stone mystery every year and as you can tell, my editor likes me to feature the holidays in my books. Of course Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and my newest mystery “Eggnog Murder,” is included in an anthology with two other Christmas novellas by Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis. I’ve long been a fan of the classic English country house mystery, and was a faithful watcher of “Downton Abbey,” so I couldn’t resist trying to write one. I think I succeeded rather well, if I do say so myself, with “British Manor Murder,” which came out in October, 2016.

My books are classified as “cozies” but a good friend insists they are really “comedies of manners” and I do enjoy expressing my view of contemporary American life.

Now that the kids are grown — we have five fabulous grandchildren — my husband and I are enjoying dividing our time between Braintree and Cape Cod, along with our cat, Sylvester.

Find Her: Goodreads / Twitter / Web

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